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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Supporting Materials (Extended Example)

Extended examples are often called illustrations, narratives, or anecdotes. They are longer and more detailed then brief example. By telling a story vividly and dramatically, they pull listeners into the speech. Here is such an example, from a speech about the astonishing similarities that sometimes exist between identical twins:

After 40 years of separation from his identical twin, James Lewis began his search for his long-lost brother. They had been separated a few weeks after birth and were adopted by different families. Their reunion took place at the home of the other twin—James Springer. Upon meeting, they found that they had more in common then their first names.

Both had married a woman named Betty, been divorced, and remarried a woman named Sally. Both had similar jobs as deputy sheriffs, McDonald’s employees, and gas station attendants. Both liked to build wood furniture in their basement workshops. Both put on 10 pound as teenagers and lost it latter. Both had the same favorite subjects in school, were bad spellers, and suffered from migraine headaches and sleeping problems. All in all, they shared 27 matching characteristics.

This long example captures vividly the many likenesses that often exist between identical twins. The speaker could merely have said, “identical twins are a lot alike,” but the story makes the point far more vividly.

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